November 4 marks a number of things for Orlando City. It marks the unofficial end of the season, Kaka’s final match with the Lions and, most importantly, the ‘Fuerza Puerto Rico’ Friendly, which will take place on at 7:30 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium.
All net proceeds from the match will go to the United for Puerto Rico initiative, which will help raise funds and aid recovery efforts for the island following the devastation from hurricane damage.
Orlando City will play host to the Puerto Rican National team for the game and all the players and coaches from the Lions are excited to have an opportunity to help out the people of Puerto Rico in their own unique way: a game of soccer.
“To me, it’s a rare occasion when you can actually feel like you’re really, really giving back for something and really being able to do something that’s charitable and that you think is important,” Head Coach Jason Kreis said after training Wednesday, “So, I look at this opportunity to play this match for our guys to play this last match, to help Puerto Rico as something really serious, and I appreciate it.”
Many of the players for the Lions have been following the news and the aftermath of the hurricanes. Defender Scott Sutter has been keeping close tabs on the situation in Puerto Rico and is looking forward to play in the upcoming friendly.
“I mean, it’s unavoidable,” Sutter said, “Especially for me being here, it was the first time I went through something similar. You know, obviously, nowhere near what Puerto Rico experienced, but it was huge. I mean, it’s everywhere. It’s all over the news, and you really, really feel for everyone that’s affected by it. I mean, even our kit guy here is from Puerto Rico, and you can just see in his face, when it was going on, there’s a kind of the shock about it. So it’s been a tough time for everyone that’s been directly and indirectly involved, and I think everyone’s really looking forward to doing their part for the game that we’ve got going on here. I think it’s a great opportunity to do something good for Puerto Rico.”
Other players, like defender Jonathan Spector, are glad that they are able to have a way to help the victims of such a tragedy, even if it is just in a small dose.
“It’s a privilege to be able to do something to help them,” Spector said, “There’s a lot of different funds and different things, ways to make donations, to donate time. As a club, I think it’s wonderful that we’re doing something to try and help as well, maybe just in a small way, but I think every little bit helps with something like this. As players, we’re proud to be part of that and proud of the club for putting something like this on.”
Tickets for the charity match are available via ticketmaster.com or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.